Is It OK If The Camera Sometimes Lies?

Last fall, Reuters photographer Adnan Hajj lost his job for Photoshopping extra smoke, extra “missiles” (actually flares), and possibly even extra “victims” into photos of the Israeli air raid on terrorist group Hezbollah. Digital photography has made image manipulation easier than ever. But how can you use this powerful tool for legitimate ends?

Talented Photoshop users can find many outlets for their skills. Here are some photography careers that require Photoshop image adjustment: 

  • Forensic Photography–forensic photographers rely on Photoshop to help investigators examine photographic evidence. Digital enhancement can make faint impressions visible (such as fingerprints on a weapon), control perspective, zoom in on fine details, and adjust tone
  • ‘Beauty’ Retouching for Media–Magazines and advertising agencies hire Photoshop experts to perform virtual plastic surgery on models: refine their complexions, alter features, change body shape, and even create composite images using by superimposing body parts from multiple photos. Warning: the latter practice may result in a celebrity lawsuit.
  • Photograph Restoration & Alteration–Want to see your grandmother as a baby? Want your ex-husband out of all those family photos? Photoshop experts can treat antique photographs for fading, stains and tears, overexposure; and yes, remove unwanted backgrounds or family members.

Take a Photoshop Course Online
Today’s photographers sometimes spend more time in front of the computer screen than behind the lens. The emphasis on computer training means aspiring photographers can learn the ropes via online education.

Powerful tools like Photoshop have introduced new possibilities–and new professional responsibility. When planning your photography education online, find a program that includes not only online technical training but also a broad education in the professional standards of your chosen field.

Interior Design Degree Online

Money can’t buy you happiness–unless you use it to redecorate your living room in bright, cheery colors. Better yet, earn your interior design degree and learn how to create mood-enhancing designs yourself. Online training in “happy decor” and other cutting-edge styles will put you at the forefront of the design game.

The New Face of Happiness
The new school of “happy decor” is a celebration of color and pattern. These are the days of banana yellow, cotton candy pink and lime green. The spare, black-white-beige look is out, replaced by ornate brass chandeliers and houndstooth-pattern upholstery. It’s a little like Alice in Wonderland meets Imperial Russia.

“Happiness” is all the rage lately–on the bookshelves, in college education, online–there’s a new emphasis in accentuating the positive rather than simply eliminating the negative. Influential designers have picked up on the psychological trend and interpreted it for interior design. Jonathan Adler comments: “Your home should be like a good dose of Zoloft.”

Finding Happiness with Interior Design Education Online
It’s an upbeat moment in the interior design world, a chance to put your design talent to good use. Of course, you’ll need some formal education to get started. Fortunately, online training has made an interior design education more accessible than ever. Online programs offer the comprehensive training necessary for certification. Some of the topics covered include:

  • Lighting and sound design
  • Regional building codes
  • Design materials
  • Structural design

With the recognition that interior design impacts mood, designers are assuming a more influential role than ever before. And they’re having more fun. Colors, patterns, shapes–today’s interior design is a celebration of life. With the right online training, you can tap into the happiness movement and let your imagination run wild.

ECommerce Web Site Design: Harnessing The Power Of The Internet

  • aaaa

The explosion of e-commerce has created quite a buzz in the technology industry across the globe. Now companies can do business 24/7 and offer their customers service anytime, day or night. And these businesses pay top dollar to graphic designers for e-commerce web site design.

The growth of online sales in the past five years has made it crucial for businesses to develop quality e-commerce web sites. The ease of shopping online has sent millions of customers to the computer to pick up items once bought in a store. In response to this trend, companies routinely hire graphic design professionals to create their online presence. A quality e-commerce web site design not only sells goods and services around the clock, but is also the ultimate marketing tool to reach millions of targeted consumers. Here are some of the benefits of an e-commerce web site.

eCommerce Web Site Design: Powerful Online Tools

  • Information Bank. A knowledgeable customer is much more likely to make an online purchase, so companies want to provide instant information.
  • Cross Selling. is a great example of how an e-commerce web site can persuade customers to purchase items similar to their initial purchase.
  • Mailing List. In the world of e-commerce, a large e-mail list is as good as gold for future sales and promotions.

Earn your credentials in graphic design and you could make a career out of creating e-commerce web site designs for a variety of companies. The graphic design industry is keeping pace with the surge in e-commerce technologies, and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports a bright future for graphic design pros.

Graphic Design Degree Information

  • High Tech Training. Learn the advanced techniques of some of the most cutting-edge software in the industry.
  • Strong Market. Employment for graphic design pros is expected to grow at a steady pace in the next decade.
  • Competitive Salary. A qualified graphic design professional can expect to earn between $29,000 and $51,000 per year.

Earn your degree in graphic design and become an e-commerce design expert!

Software Skills From Online Art Schools

Computer animation has been around for over twenty years, and artists are still finding new ways to use it. A rising star in Chinese contemporary art, Zhou Tiehai doesn’t use drawings or sketches to create new paintings he uses Photoshop.

Some think he’s an imposter, and others don’t care, but one thing is for certain: Zhou Tiehai is a success, whose paintings can draw as much as $100,000 and international acclaim. And it’s all thanks to computer software.

Using a PC to Paint

Tiehai uses Adobe Photoshop to create his paintings, manipulating lines and colors until he achieves the image he wants. He then prints it out, and a team of artists completes the painting.

Tiehai holds an art degree from the School of Fine Arts at Shanghai University, and has been one of the Pioneers in Chinese contemporary art. While you may not be able to do exactly what he does – you can certainly use the same tools. And you can do it all at an online university.

Online Art Schools

Art and design schools online are becoming increasingly popular, due in part to the nature of the degree. Many design jobs require CAD or other software certification. You can gain the software skills you need from online schools that specialize in art. There are a variety of online universities to choose from, with courses in software programs such as the following:

  • Photoshop
  • Illustrator
  • CAD, AutoCAD
  • Quark, QuarkXPress
  • PageMaker
  • FrameMaker

Online schools give you the benefits of keeping your own schedule and your own pace, while providing you the instruction you need to master art and design software. Check out the course listings at the online art and design school or online university that’s right for you.

Read The Writing On The Wall(paper): Interior Design Education Goes Online

For a while, every hip home needed a single wall painted a bold, contrasting color, preferably mustard yellow or wine red. Then it was back to a minimalist off-white. Today’s designers are apt to forgo the paint swatches altogether. The new look in interior design: digitally-enhanced wallpaper.

Retro Contemporary

But this isn’t your seventies paisley and pastel floral print. In fact, this wall-art doesn’t blend into the background at all. The colors and shapes are bold and bright. The paper is the focal point on a wall–a mural rather than a total wall covering.

Wallpaper for the Digital Age

Digital technology is behind the mural phenomenon. Armed with their design-school computer education, interior designers are creating wallpaper panels on their desktops, and selling them online. Designer Randall Buck, who produces Miro-like wallpaper from digitally-enhanced photographs, comments: “The computer is our toolbox. We call our papers digital paintings.”

The rise of digital wallpaper reflects a broader trend: the interior design industry is steadily going high tech. Interior designers already rely heavily on CADD, computer-aided drafting and design. It stands to reason that advanced graphic design skills should also enter into an interior designer’s repertoire.

Interior Design Online

The digitization of interior design is very good news for e-learning students, whose education already emphasizes computer skills. The online format lends itself to computer-aided design training; students learn to interact in a virtual classroom, and share their designs digitally.

As the interior and graphic design fields begin to dovetail, one thing is clear: aspiring designers must be computer-savvy. E-learning is one way to make sure your education prepares you as interior design enters the digital age.

Prepare For That Dream Animation Job

Animators have enviable jobs – they tell stories, create characters, and use images to sell products and services. They are also talented professionals, having the ability to illustrate and conceive of interesting characters and story ideas.

Animators work for production companies, illustrating all types of characters from talking fish and cars to princesses and magical figures. They are able to draw by hand, in the traditional manner of Disney animator Joe Grant and Japanese legend Hayao Miyazaki. They are also experienced with computer generated image technology, which is used today more than hand-drawn animation by big production studios like Pixar.

Animation Programs

Most animators gain their expertise in animation during a formal post-secondary animation program. They may attend a university or an art school. Programs may last two to fours years depending on the depth of instruction and degree requirements. Bachelor of arts degrees in animation will typically take four years of full-time study.

During your animation program, you’ll likely take an introductory course in illustration. You’ll also study character development and its relationship to gestures, movement, and color.

You’ll also learn how to use computer-generated image technology. Movies like Toy Story have made computer technology indispensable in the animation industry. It’s also used in commercial animation to produce television ads and other promotional materials.

As you pursue a degree in animation, you might also complete an internship. Internships prepare students to apply for jobs – they arm them with practical and relevant experience and enhance their portfolio of work.

Pursuing Your Dream Animation Job

Jobs in the field of animation are growing – in fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that within the film entertainment industry, jobs in animation are some of the fastest growing.

But you still need the right credentials to compete for jobs in animation. They are competitive, particularly those with production companies like Pixar, where just a small number of positions are available. There are also smaller production companies that do very interesting work. They may be hired as contractors for a big Hollywood production or they might work on a high-profile advertising campaign.

Pursue your opportunities in the field of animation – start by learning what credentials you need to move forward with an animation career.

Pixar’s John Lasseter: The Magician Of Animation

Although Pixar and Disney have been animation partners over the last several years, Pixar has had more success on the silver screen than their bigger and wealthier counterpart. The animation genius behind Pixar’s success is a man named John Lasseter.

If you have seen the movies Finding Nemo, The Incredibles, or Toy Story, then you know that Pixar animation studios are the best thing going in the computer animation world today. Disney recognized this and quickly made Pixar a partner in animation. John Lasseter, the main man at the Pixar studios, has quite literally taken the animation world by storm with his incredibly witty movies. Also an executive with Apple, Lasseter has aspired to be an animation professional since his childhood.

Pixar’s Animation Genius

  • Big Salary. John Lasseter makes over $2.4 million per year, which is five times more than the next animation executive makes.
  • Free Reign. Lasseter’s animation training has given him the authority to green light animation projects or give them the axe.
  • Great Publicity. His latest animation production, Cars, is getting rave reviews by various online media outlets.

Perhaps the reason that the animation profession is always in the spotlight is because it offers a unique mix of art and technology. If you have some basic drawing skills and some basic computer skills, you can earn your animation training through an online degree program. Here’s what you can expect.

An Online Animation Degree

  • Program Length. An online degree in animation typically involves a four-year training program from a technical school or college.
  • Career Outlook. If you have creativity, talent, and the right training, you will find many opportunities in the animation industry.

Certified animation training is the best way to begin your career in the coolest industry around today.

Interior Design Career Tip: Designing Hospitals

The next time you’re at the doctor’s office, check out the scenery. Do those pale blue walls help soothe your white-coat jitters? Did the sheep in that pastoral painting help you temporarily overcome your fear of needles? Although we seldom pay attention to the decor of hospitals and doctor’s offices, each wall hanging, each piece of furniture, and even the color scheme can affect how we respond to the healthcare experience.

If you’re browsing interior design degrees and considering a career in the field, now’s the time to jump on board in hospital interior design. National employment of interior designers is expected to grow faster than average in the coming years. Experts predict demand from the healthcare industry should be particularly high, as that field continues to need new and better-designed facilities.

Hospital Interior Design: Challenges and Rewards

Interior designers often find that hospitals are among the most challenging and potentially rewarding projects in the interior design world. When designing patient care rooms, nurse stations, reception areas and hospital hallways, the interior designer must operate within fairly strict standards, considering factors like:

  • Fire codes
  • Infection control
  • Patient safety
  • Medical equipment
  • Needs of the patient, visitors, physicians, nurses and other staff

Furniture, for example, must be durable enough to support obese patients, easily sterilized to prevent infection in patients with stomas or immunodeficient patients, yet still sufficiency light that it can be moved in case of fire. Many interior designers opt for natural materials like wood, soothing blue or green toned colors, and pastoral imagery to create a peaceful space where patients can be comfortable. If this sounds like something you’d like to do, consider earning your interior design degree. You might even be able to save some lives.

The Virtues And Vices Of Visual Communications

Distance learning programs. Movies on demand. Streaming videos on cell phones. Visual communications make our lives easier, and certainly more exciting. But are the advances in the field moving our society in a healthy direction? The verdict is still out on the contributions of visual communications.

The term “visual communications” refers to the variety of methods for relaying information through visual displays. Examples range from graphic art and video games to the more traditional billboards and even body motions. As technology expands the field of visual communications, the debate rages about its value to society. To some, the visual communications industry is a gateway to the future, increasing our abilities to share information and ideas. To others, it has become a distraction from human-to-human interaction.

Visual Communications: Highs and Lows

  • Bringing the World Home. Field photographers create digital photographs that reveal everything from remote jungle tribes to crowded city streets in a bold, new light. To see these different communities in a visual collection is stunning.
  • Capturing Kids’ Attention. A major protest against the growth of visual communications is the explosion of video games, text messaging, and web space. Some argue that more visual communication means less reading and fewer verbal interactions.
  • Introducing the Orb. Ambient Devices of Cambridge, Massachusetts has introduced a glowing orb that relays a variety of quantifiable data. If the Dow Jones is up, the orb glows green. A down day is signaled in a hue of red.

Visual Communications Professionals Needed

Because the Internet has fast become the visual communications medium of choice for hundreds of millions of people worldwide, professionals in the industry are seeing more employment opportunities than ever before.

Fascinating visual communications career fields include:

  • Video Director. From music videos on VH1 to highlight sequences on ESPN, the video director is a position in the upper level of the industry.
  • Documentary Producer. If the thrill of being a part of the scene is a must for you, a documentary producer covers an entire range of social scenarios.
  • Digital Artist. If you’re a techie with an eye for design, you can parlay your visual communications degree into a job as a graphic designer.

No matter what your position might be on the explosion of visual communications, there is little doubt that they will continue to change the way we view and share information.

Get The Dish On Design Careers

Want a career in design but aren’t sure which one to pursue? Here are a few of the most common design careers and what they involve. 

Interior Designer

Interior designers focus on residential and commercial interiors. They choose textiles, window coverings, rugs, carpet, furniture, and decorative arts to create a desirable environment. Most interior designers obtain their experience through a two-year accredited interior design program or relevant job experience. They may be required to be licensed within their state to legally carry out their services. Getting a license may involve passing an exam or demonstrating competency in the field through relevant work experience or an academic degree.

Web designer

The development of the Internet created a new field known as Web design. Web designers have both technical and creative skills; they know some programming languages such as HTML and PHP and have an understanding of graphic design principles. They might also have experience in managing and publishing content. Today’s web designers might work for a variety of organizations from online publications to ecommerce sites.

Graphic Designer

Graphic design is a field that has existed as long as advertisements have. They work for publishing houses, advertising firms, and graphic design firms. They also work within the sales and marketing divisions of many companies, creating marketing collateral such as brochures, newsletters, and business cards. Many graphic designers prepare for a career in graphic design through a design-related degree program, where they learn how to use programs like Photoshop and convey ideas through images.

Fashion Designer

Fashion is such a high-profile industry that most everyone has some sense of what is involved in a fashion design career. To get started, you might attend a fashion design school, where you learn how to sketch designs, choose textiles, and create elegant designs. After fashion school you might pursue an internship at a clothing company such as Calvin Klein or Donna Karan. Ultimately, you might find yourself designing a collection of high-end apparel or working as a buyer for a large clothing company.

If you’re interested in design, you have plenty of careers to choose from. Find out if a career in graphic, web, fashion, or interior design is in your future.